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Civic Devourment

grotesque - Photo by Tim Masih

Grotesque/Maximum Perversion/Sanzu/Facegrinder/9 Foot Super Soldier

The Civic Hotel

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Civic Devourment was definitely not your average, run of the mill local metal gig. Promising “a night of pure grinding terror,” the evening provided solid entertainment, whether planned or otherwise. Fortunately grindcore is the type of genre where metal clichés such as “brutal technicality” and “serious metals” tend to fall by the wayside. Technical faults? Who gives a toss. Forgot your own lyrics? Stuff ’em. It’s grind; just go with it, have a laugh, and have fun. These guys sure as hell did, and the audience loved every minute.

Opening act 9 Foot Super Soldier proved why it pays to get in early, or you could miss the act of the night. Featuring former members of Abhorrent, the trio emerged as a tighter unit, albeit clearly out to party, Andrew WK style. The array of familiar faces providing guest vocals on each track showed a lot of unexpected vocal talent in Perth (SMITTY, I’M LOOKING AT YOU!).  Celebrating bassist Sean’s birthday, the set’s informal, grind-karaoke vibe was both comical and captivating. I can’t wait to see where to from here, because 9FtSS are breathing a refreshing new life into grindcore.

Second up, Facegrinder presented an entirely different musical style and on-stage presence. Showcasing the more extreme/death element of grind, the set was packed with energy from a band full of potential. Relative newcomers to the live scene, Sanzu demonstrated technical proficiency, whilst bearing an uncanny resemblance to French metal act Gojira. Currently seeking a bass player (contact the guys via Facebook!), they pulled off the set remarkably well despite the notable absence. Perhaps future performances will allow their true, envisioned style to resonate, once the line-up is complete.

Next, a rare appearance from Perth grind veterans, Maximum Perversion. Whilst not the most well-rehearsed/polished set of the night, there’s no denying that Maxi P are still leagues above the competition. Drawing influences from classic artists such as Macabre and Carcass, they nevertheless bring a style unparalleled, and completely their own. Crowd favourites such as Grand Guignol Of Manufactured Hits, Snowdropper and John Bobbit proved that their music is as timeless as grind gets. Whilst perhaps lacking the same energy as the previous acts, the music and loyal fan-base speaks for itself.  Still Perth’s number one grind band.

Enter Grotesque, one of Perth’s celebrated technical death metal acts, having recently recruited new frontman Ross. Whilst his vocal versatility is compelling, and each musician clearly very accomplished, one can only hope that the new addition will bring about a subtle influence in their overall musical style, to stay relevant in such a saturated genre as tech death. They have the talent and ability, so their development will be one to watch.

Civic Devourment: Great show, great whiskey, 10/10 for the confetti, and 10/10 for the party. Would repeat.

ELOISE ROSENSTEIN

Photo: Grotesque, by Tim Masih